photo by © Clay Bowen 2021


I invite you to discover the Deep Listening® community that I am cultivating world-wide. My work envelops inner worlds, dreams, nature and community through sound and multi-dimensional listening. My life has been about playing the flute and becoming a “specialist” of contemporary music. I am also fascinated with ancient sounds of our ancestors.

It seemed impossible to sing while playing the flute, yet learning complex contemporary scores led me to listen to ancient traditions. Once I could sing and play, my experiments in sound blossomed into compositions…which then pulled me to dream about lands I’d never been to. Eventually my travels gave me opportunities to improvise with artists from around the world and then…The imagined became reality.

Through my Deep Listening® practice, I am gradually collecting and uniting a global community of listeners and dreamers, through in-person and online facilitation sessions. My work as an Associate Professor of interdisciplinary music at Colorado University at Colorado Springs is the hub of my research for building a creative collective of listeners. This website shares my life work, my ideas and my explorations. This constant in-progress experiment is evolving and transforming and I deeply appreciate your participation in this process.

I am listening. Join me.


MOVEMENTS (a mini-blog)

I wrote this back in 2020 and somehow, after a year-and-a-half it still feels pertinent. I need a reminder that objects also go to their own “heaven.” 
The Heaven of Things. Perhaps, as things fade, we expand.

No such thing as absence

The little rug, not more than 3×4 feet, has a rough feel to it, as if  it had been burnt. The once soft wool is now hardened and stiff. The vibrant dark pink colors, most likely made from natural dyes, perhaps pomegranate and berries, are now unevenly smeared and faded or darkened inconsistently. The sweetly symmetrical patterns are lost in the muckiness of the strained wool. This is what water…then mold…then someone who has no idea about how to repair a ruined rug tries to clean it, does. The essence is long gone.

The essence of my grandparents’ handspun rug, from a small village in India, is now forever lost. From where did this essence originate? How many hands did it pass through? Where are those hands now? What sounds did the maker(s) listen to as they spun the wool? What smells enveloped the air as they watched it dry and designed the weave? And who drove the truck with all the sister rugs, transporting them to new hands, new towns and cities? And how many different contrasting temperatures did it pass through before finally getting to Los Angeles? And then, for so many years, in an apartment in West LA, then in a storage unit and packed in a truck…finally to make its way to Colorado, where in just a matter of a few weeks, water and mold extinguished it’s wooly essence. 

One can truly never know the story of this sweet little rug. All I know is my connection to it and to its demise. 

The absence of my past: sitting alone on the floor at family gatherings, in a corner, playing some kind of wooden solitaire game/toy, while everyone else had important things to discuss. Being the youngest child, the youngest cousin, the youngest grandchild meant that no one could really relate to me. I was told not to speak unless spoken to. I was to be quiet, obedient. “Amuse yourself. Sit in the corner and behave. Do what you’re told.” 

Children accommodate and can acclimatize themselves easily to almost any situation. They don’t know any better. They attach themselves to very specific objects and as they grow, those objects take on new meanings. Things formulate our identity. Objects become part of a place, a feeling, a time, a moment, an emotional belonging. Do objects and their stories affect the places and people they inhabit as much as we take on that object as our own identity? What if they could speak? Maybe they are speaking and we don’t consciously realize it. How could we possibly recognize it’s voice/language/call? 

The rug never really meant that much to me, but when I saw it’s blotchy, matted, rigid, wool, hot tears uncontrollably streamed down my cheek, and seemingly without reason. Was I crying for me and my identity? Or was I crying for it? The object? Who’s tears were they? 

There I was, sensing all the places I’d been with it, all the places I imagined it had been. My own intangible memories blemished, and knotted, stiff and worn. I sensed the feeling of absence, the lack of home, family, and belonging. The rug never really belonged to me. I don’t belong to anyone. There we were. Two unbelonging memories — of no one in particular. Two, worn objects of time. Each with their life stories, their travels, the sensations of sound, smell, feeling, and touch. Withered, stiffened, worn and absent from a vitality we once knew. An absence.

And within this containment of absence is the wholeness of the world to which I do belong. The richness of the places I’ve lived, the people I know, the lives I’ve touched and those who have forever influenced who I have become. The things in my life become fewer, more refined, more focused and purposeful. The things in my life represent my identity, my life, my memories, my world of being and belonging. Objects are not me, but they speak to, for, with me. The rug is absent but the essence of its life, the people who made it and who brought it into being are expanding. It’s story is now mine.

The essence of who I am is expanding…a sonic reverberation that ripples out goodness, kindness and connection. The vitality is not absent. The energetic force is breathing. When I am absent from this form, will that reverberation still connect?

We don’t see these connections. They are invisible threads. Filaments of natural hues, made of pomegranates and figs, berries and apples, olives and crunchy leaves…cold streams and wind-swept ocean cliffs. Each strand interweaving into the next astral vein… We bounce into and out of each other’s plane of being and out of that we become.

John Cage said “there’s no such thing as silence.”

I wonder if …there’s no such thing as absence.

©Jane Rigler


Visual Portfolio, Posts & Image Gallery for WordPress